The FBI, the lead federal agency for investigating cybercrime in the US, has itself been hacked. The bureau confirmed on Friday that it’s probing an “isolated” breach of its computer network.
Hackers compromised a computer system at the agency’s New York field office, CNN reported earlier on Friday, citing unidentified sources who had been briefed on the matter. The system had been used in investigations of child sexual exploitation.
“The FBI is aware of the incident and is working to gain additional information,” the agency said in a statement to multiple media outlets. “This is an isolated incident that has been contained. As this is an ongoing investigation, the FBI does not have further comment to provide at this time.”
It’s not clear when the hack occurred, how the system was breached or what the perpetrators aimed to achieve. The FBI is reportedly still trying to determine the origin of the intrusion.
Terry Cutler, CEO of Montreal-based cybersecurity firm Cyology Labs, said the hacker in the latest incident may have breached the FBI system to sell access to it.
US government agencies, including the FBI, have frequently been targeted for system breaches. For instance, in November 2021, someone exploited a vulnerability in the FBI’s email system to send out a fake cyberattack warning from an FBI address to thousands of recipients. The agency responded by saying it had fixed the software flaw that made the hoax possible.